MATCH REPORT | Barrow Town 5 -v- 3 Gedling Miners Welfare
Barrow edge 8-goal thriller at Riverside Park
Barrow Town –v– Gedling Miners Welfare
East Midlands Counties Football League
Saturday 24th November
Riverside Park | 3.00pm Kick Off
Barrow Town …........................ 5 (Parker 8’, Sheahan 24’, Kirk 57’, Page 84’, 90’)
Gedling Miners Welfare ………… 3 (Jepson 41’ 43’, Millward 71’)
A late double from substitute Dan Page ensured Gedling Miners Welfare went back to Plains Road empty handed in an 8-goal spectacle on Saturday afternoon at Riverside Park.
Miners travelled to Leicestershire following an impressive performance against Belper United in the week and looked to emulate such an outing against Barrow despite being knocked out of the East Midlands Counties League Cup on Tuesday night.
However, they started slowly and were allowing their hosts far too much time and space between the lines that Barrow looked to exploit without their talisman Zak Ginvert in their ranks. They threatened early on but really failed to trouble Lance Walker in the away goal as they settled into the affair, though it didn’t take long for their early dominance to pay off as, after only 8 minutes, they took the lead.
Following some positive interplay down the right between strike partners Dan Sheahan and James Parker the latter, feigning to shoot initially, found space to slot the ball past Walker for the opening goal. 3 minutes later and Sheahan turned provider again, this time finding Ryan Kirk, but his snapshot off-balance was wayward.
Gedling’s best chance came shortly before the quarter hour and may have resulted in an equaliser, however after Ross McCaughey’s deep cross found the onrushing Dwayne Brown, the midfielder’s header bounced wide. Shortly after and Parker again went close but Walker thwarted him with an excellent save as he tipped the goal bound effort around his post.
Their response to going a goal down was good, but lacked any real quality when in possession. Good build up play between Sam Mellor, Brown and Spiers was encouraging, however their end product was wasteful as Brad Jones and his goal remained fair unworried.
Barrow on the contrary always looked a threat going forward and seemed unhindered by the absence of the 18-goal Ginvert as Parker and Sheahan started to take control of the game and it was the latter who extended his side’s lead on 24 minutes.
After Parker had broken the offside trap to race onto a ball from Christopher Davis, Walker had anticipated the danger excellently to slide clear. However, the ball dropped kindly to Sheahan and, with a delicate touch from 30 yards out, lobbed the ball over the stranded ‘keeper and into the empty net to further Barrow’s advantage as he milked the praise from his colleagues.
After 31 minutes, Mason Coy finally tested the hands of Jones with a testing free kick, but the stalwart could count the effort as catching practice as Coy’s reaction summed up a poor opening half hour for the away side who, shortly after, were forced into a double substitution as both he and Felix Hogg suffered muscle strains and were removed as a precaution.
The home side looked good for their lead and may have headed toward the interval with more than a deficit of 2. Overloading down the left, a superb low cross from Harry Solomons was met by a stooping header from Sheahan but he couldn’t keep his effort down. On 39 minutes and a quickly taken free kick from Sheahan found Fran Finnemore but his slightly scuffed effort was palmed away by Walker.
As the half wore on, Gedling started to come into their own a little and had an extremely positive spell in the latter stages. They were undeterred by the scoreline and their approach to proceedings, despite the score, was encouraging and 4 minutes before the break, they got back into it.
After Dwayne Brown was clattered on the half way line following a venture up field, Jack Jepson, showing a glimpse of his undoubted talent, picked up the loose ball and following a very good advantage played by referee Aidan Murphy, the striker picked his spot and drilled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Buoyed by the way back into the game, the away side hurried to get the match restarted as their eagerness to turn around their poor recent run of form in the league was evident and, only 2 minutes later, they were on level terms.
Following a strong and unhindered run down the left from substitute Raheen Suban, his cross from the byline found Jepson who, after good control surrounded by 3, slotted the ball into the far corner for the equaliser – a superb effort by the talisman who bagged his 11th goal of the campaign and just rewards for Miners’ dogged determination.
Their hard work may have been quickly undone only a minute later, though, as Parker, proving to be a thorn in the visiting defence, smartly headed into the path of the surging Davis who slammed the ball against the crossbar as Murphy drew a breathless half to a close.
Gedling came out for the second period the better side and will have been sparked by their revitalised mentality following their performance late in the first. Barrow, meanwhile, will have been kicking themselves at letting a 2 goal cushion slip and their chance of securing only a second win in 7 league games seemed slight given the circumstances.
10 minutes after the break and Gedling went close to going in front for the first time but Spiers’ effort from distance was frantically blocked by the joint efforts of Hawkes and Finnemore as they both looked for composure from their teammates.
Despite the slow start to the second half, Barrow always posed a threat with their attack and Parker in particular always looked troublesome in possession. Shortly before the hour mark, following a determined run into the box, holding off the attention of Liam Corrigan, his square pass found Ryan Kirk who shot low through a crowded area and under Walker to put Barrow back in front.
The game mellowed and as the final few stages edged closer, Gedling pushed forward looking to turn their positive performances of late into points and in the 71st minute, they were back on equal terms.
After Jepson did well to shrug off the attention of Sam Beauer down the left, his chipped cross to the far post was excellent and substitute Jack Millward headed home unopposed for his first of the campaign to draw Gedling level.
5 minutes later and Walker had to be at his best to preserve Gedling’s position and he did superbly to prevent Kirk’s goal bound effort as he tipped over the crossbar. Not long after and the ‘keeper was at it again, exemplifying his position as one of the best in the league, as he fantastically denied Davis with a fingertip to frustrate Barrow further.
The visitors expected a nervy 10 minutes and the barrage of home attacks continued. Last ditch defending from a resilient back line, teamed with Walker’s efforts, looked as if Gedling would head back to Plains Road with a point. However, 6 minutes from time, Barrow re-took the lead for a 3rd time.
After a strong run from deep from Beauer saw the ball with Parker, his lay off to Dan Page was perfect and, in a carbon copy to Jepson’s first earlier in the match, the substitute’s strike was unstoppable as it arrowed into the top corner as he was mobbed by his teammates.
Pushing for another equaliser, Gedling committed bodies forward and, understandably, were willing to risk gaps in their ranks becoming more exposed. 2 minutes into stoppage team and after a long ball forward from McCaughey was cleared, Parker slotted a fine through ball to Page and as he raced down on Walker’s goal, he confidently passed the ball around the ‘keeper for Barrow’s fifth of the game and his second.
A gutsy performance from Gedling who fell short despite another optimistic showing against Barrow who deserved their win. Without a game this Saturday (1st December) attention turns to the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup 3rd round on Tuesday (4th December) as Collingham of the Central Midlands League visit Plains Road, kick off 7.45.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Jack Jepson
Match Attendance – 59
Referee – Aidan Murphy
Assistant Referees – Craig Hammond and Dean Simms
Barrow Town – Brad Jones, Sam Beauer, Harry Solomons, Ryan Hawker (c), Fran Finnemore (Chris Shaw 84’), Toby Wells, Ryan Kirk, Christopher Davis (Joe Brown 81’), Anthony Marriott, Dan Sheahan (Dan Page 62’), James Parker
Gedling Miners Welfare – Lance Walker, Sam Mellor, Ross McCaughey (c), Joe Meakin, Liam Corrigan, Felix Hogg (Reiss Coy 31’), Abubakar Wadada (Jack Millward 61’), Jimmy Spiers, Jack Jepson, Mason Coy (Raheen Suban 31') , Dwayne Brown
Cautions – Spiers (foul 54’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams